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" He that juclgeth a mjfittSr before he hearclh 

it, is not wise." — Solomon. ; S4 \hvl-*- I 


The way-faring man, though a fool, need not err therein." 













" He that judgeth a matter before he hearetj: it, is not wise." 

There are certain principles established of God, which being 
understood, and observed, will put men in possession of spi- 
ritual knowledge, gifts, and blessings. In early ages of the 
world, also in the days of the apostles, people came into pos- 
session of spiritual powers, and various privileges, by obtaining 
an understanding of, and faithfully attending to certain rules 
which the Lord established. As for instance ; Abel, one of 
the sons of Adam, obtaining information that offering up sa- 
crifices was an order instituted of God, through which men 
might receive blessings, he set himself to work, observed the 
order, performed the sacrifice, whereby he obtained glorious 
manifestations of the Most High. 

Again; when the Antediluvians had corrupted themselves, 
and the time arriving at which destruction was coming upon 
them, the Lord revealed a course whereby the righteous 
might escape ; accordingly, all who understood and observed 
the course, were sure to realize the blessing promised . Joshua, 
before obtaining possession of Jericho, had to observe certain 
steps appointed of God. The steps having been properly 
taken, according to commandment, the object immediately 
fell into his possession. Another instance ; the case of Naa- 
man, captain of the Assyrian host; — it appears, being afflicted 
with the leprosy, and hearing of Elisha, the prophet, he made 
application to him for the removal of that affliction. The 
prophet having the Holy Ghost upon him, which is the Mind 
of God, informed him, that by washing in Jordan's waters 
seven times, he might be restored. At first, Naaman thought 
this most too simple, and was displeased, and disposed not to 
conform — not to make use of means so simple. After more 
due consideration, however, humbling himself, he went forth 
complying with the rules; when lo! the blessing directly 
followed. Under the Mosaic dispensation, forgiveness of sins 
were obtained upon the same principle as those blessings 
were, to which I have alluded. An animal was to be carried 
before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, by the 
individual wishing to obtain forgiveness of sins ; it was then 
to be offered up in a particular manner ; this being done, the 
promised blessing immediately followed. 


When the Gospel dispensation was introduced, gifts and 
blessings were obtained upon similar principles; that is, 
upon obedience to certain established rules. The Lord still 
marked out certain acts, promising to all those who would do 
them, certain peculiar privileges;, and when those acts were 
performed — observed in every particular — then those blessings 
promised were sure to be realized. Some vainly imagine, that 
under the Gospel dispensation, gifts and blessings were ob- 
tained ; not by external observances, or external works, but 
merely through faith and repentance, through mental opera- 
tions, independent of physical. But, laying aside the tradi- 
tions, superstitions, and creeds of men, we will look to the 
word of God, where we shall discover, that external works, 
or outward ordinances, under the Gospel dispensation, were 
inseparably connected with inward works, with faith and 
repentance. In proof of this, I introduce the following obser- 
vation : — The Saviour said, " Why call ye me Lord, Lord, 
and do not the things which I say?" Again ; he says, " He 
that heareth my words, and doeth them, shall be likened unto 
a man that built his house upon a rock." And, " He that 
believeth and is baptized, shall be saved." Likewise, he 
says; " Except a man be bom of water and of the Spirit, he 
cannot enter into the kingdom of God." — John, hi. 5. These 
sayings of our Saviour, require men to perform external 
works, in order to receive their salvation. 

On the day of Pentecost, Peter says, to the surrounding 
multitude, " Repent and be baptized for the remission of 
sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." In 
this prophetic statement, we learn that people were to perform 
an external work, baptism in water, in order that they might 
receive the remission of sins, and afterwards the gift of the 
Holy Ghost. Rut, before attending to the outward work, the 
inward work must be performed — faith and repentance. 
Faith and repentance, go before baptism; and baptism before 
the remission of sins, and the reception of the Holy Ghost. 
Hence, we see, the useless and unscriptural practice of bap- 
tizing infants. They cannot exercise faith and repentance, 
qualiiications necessary previous to baptism ; then, why re- 
quire die outward work ? 

Some deem it wrong to number baptism among the essen- 
tial principles ordained of God, to be attended to in obtaining 
remission of sins. In reply, we say, that the Saviour, and 
aposties, have done so before us, therefore, we feel obligated 
to follow their example. The destruction of the Antediluvian 




world, by water, was typical of receiving remission of sins 
through baptism. The earth had become clothed with sin 
as with a garment ; the righteous were brought out and saved 
from the world of sin, even by water ; the like figure, even 
baptism, doth now save us, says Peter, (1 Peter iii. 21) by 
answering " a good conscience toward God." Noah and family 
were removed, and disconnected from sins and pollutions, by 
means of water; so baptism, the like figure, doth now remrve 
our souls from sins and pollutions, through faith on th? 
(/rjal atonement made upon Calvary. Many express sur- 
prise, that such blessings should be had thro\igh baptism 
Naaman, when told to wash in Jordan seven times, was 
equally surprised ; but, trying the experiment, he found to 
be true the word of God; his leprosy, his physical pollution 
was thereby removed, and was typical of the removal of 
spiritual pollutions in the Gospel dispensation, by baptism in 
water, through faith and repentance. Through the means of 
water, Naaman, we have seen, obtained a miraculous blessing; 
also, the blind man, whom the Saviour directed to wash 
in the pool Siloam, received his sight, restored by means 
of water. 

The Saviour, after coming out of the river Jordan, received 
the Holy Ghost. These examples, show clearly, that water 
has been appointed a medium, through which, heavenly bless- 
ings are obtained. Be baptized, says Peter, for the remission 
of sins. — Acts ii. 38. Ananias, says to Saul, (Acts xxii. 16) 
Arise and be baptized and wash away thy sins. In the city 
of Samaria, the people baptized by Philip, it says, rejoiced. 
They rejoiced because of the remission of their sins, through 
baptism; so, also, in the case of the Eunuch. (Acts viii. 39) 
after coming out of the water, havino: obtained remission of 

I his sins, his conscience becoming void of offence toward God, 

j he was enabled to go on his way rejoicing. 

| Some' suppose they must obtain religion, before they are 

I baptized; but the Saviour, and apostles, teach us to be bap- 
tized, in order to get religion. Be baptized, says Peter, for 

! the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the Holy Ghost. 

| To obtain the gift . of the Holy Ghost, is to obtain religion. 

I Faith and repentance, were to go before baptism; but remis- 
sion of sins, and gift of the Holy Ghost, were to follow this 
ordinance. Every unprejudiced mind can see, that this i* 
in perfect agreement with the sayinsj of our Saviour; " Except 
a mnn be born of 'water and of the Spirit < he cannot enter the 
kingdom of God." If religion was promised before baptism 




in water, our Saviour would have said, born of Spirit and of 
water ; (See John iii. 5) but, he said, " Except ye are born 
of water and of the Spirit." What God has joined together, 
the Scripture says, let no man put assunder : but we put 
assunder this order of things, when we say a man must be 
born of Spirit, then of water; or, must get religion — get the 
Holy Ghost — and then be baptized. 

Peter (Actsii.) preached the same order of things, as above 
mentioned, when, he says, " Repent and be baptized for the 
remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy 
Ghost;" that is, be born of mater, then ye shall be born of 
Spirit. Paul, himself, though he had a vision of the Lord 
Jesus, yet he received not the Holy Ghost; he did not receive 
religion, until he had washed his sins away through baptism, 
as administered by Ananias. There is one instance, and but 
one, where the Holy Ghost was given before baptism, — I mean 
in the Apostolic dispensation. Cornelius and his friends, 
who had assembled together, to hear the message from Peter, 
received the Holy Ghost previous to baptism. — Acts x. 44. 

This was done, however, to convince Peter that the Gentiles 
had a right to receive Gospel privileges. Cornelius and his 
friends were Gentiles, and Peter would not have baptized 
them, unless he had first seen the power of God resting upon 
them. He looked upon the Gentiles as heathen, and too 
wicked and sinful to receive Gospel privileges with the peo- 
ple of God, the Jewish nation. He did not imagine they were 
to receive the Holy Ghost, thereby be prepared to sit down in 
the kingdom of God, with Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the 
Jewish prophets ; but, when he saw the Holy Ghost resting 
upon them, being astonished, he immediately exclaims, can 
any man forbid ovater, that these should not be baptized? 
He then commanded them to be baptized. This receiving the 
H,oly Ghost, before baptism, was an exception to a general 
rule, and arose from peculiar circumstances, as I have shewn. 
God, if he sees proper, can depart from a general rule, and 
confer blessings ; but man has not this privilege; he must ob- 
serve the order laid down, or he can have no claims upon 
the promise. After Elisha had laid down the order, whereby 
Naaman could obtain removal of his leprosy; God, if he 
had chosen, could have removed it some other way ; but, at 
the same time, Naaman could not have claims upon the 
blessing, until he had taken the course marked out. — See 2nd 
Kings, 5th chapter. If we will observe the order of the Gos- 
pel, a promise is left us, we shall have its blessings, otherwise, 



ws have no claims to urge ; and it is worse than folly for men 
to say, Lord, Lord, and do not his commandments. 

It is plainly manifest, that external works must be attended 
to, as well as faith and repentance, in order to receive Gospel 

Baptism in water, forming a part of the Gospel of Christ, 
we notice therefore, that the servants of God, in early ages, 
were very particular in attending to its administration ; also, 
it is evident, that unless peculiar blessings actually were ex- 
perienced, through baptism, they would have neglected en- 
forcing its observance. If, as some suppose, that faith, 
repentance, and prayer, answer the purpose, in receiving the 
fulness of Gospel privileges, then it is very evident, that bap- 
tism was a vain, an useless work, and had no need to be ob- 
served. Naaman would have been performing a vain and 
foolish work, when washing seven times in Jordan's waters, 
had it been in his power to have been recovered from his 
affliction merely through faith, repentance, and prayer. Also, 
Noah and family, were very foolish in performing an external 
work, in building an Ark, provided they could have obtained 
the same blessing through faith, repentance, and prayer, fur- 
thermore, the Israelites, could they have obtained forgiveness 
of sins, through faith, repentance, and prayer, it was folly in 
them in offering up animals for that purpose. So also, under 
the Gospel dispensation, those three thousand people, on the 
day of Pentecost, that were baptized in one day, were very un- 
wise and foolish in submitting to the trouble of baptism, pro- 
vided the same blessings could have been realized by exer- 
cising only faith, repentance, and prayer. The Eunuch would 
not have alighted from his carriage, and accompanied Philip 
into the water, if nothing had been required in receiving Gos- 
pel blessings but inward works ; neither would Ananias have 
commanded Saul to arise and be baptized, washing away his 
sins, unless he had known, assuredly, that baptism, an out- 
ward work, must necessarily accompany the inward works of 
faith and repentance, in order that Saul might come into and 
obtain possession of Gospel privileges. Paul would not have 
baptized those twelve men, alluded to in Acts xix. if mental 
operations could have given them the gift of the Holy Ghost; 
(1st Cor. i. 14) neither would he have baptized the house- 
hold of Stephanias; also Crispus and Gains; and permitted 
Apollos to water; or baptize those whom he planted or enlight- 
ened, (1st Cor. iii. 4.) unless^, baptism had been absolutely 
essential to receiving Gospel privileges ; nor Peter, when speak- 


ing of Noah and family being saved by water, would have 
said, The like figure whereunto even baptism doth now save 
us; — 1st Peter iii. 21 ; nor would Christ have said, Except ye 
are born of water and of the Spirit, ye cannot enter the king- 
dom of-God. I might multiply proofs of this kind; but, I 
dare say, sufficient has already been said in proof, that bap- 
tism is absolutely necessary with faith and repentance. 

We will now occupy a moment, in endeavouring to obtain 
a proper view of the mode in which baptism was administered. 
It is quite evident, that there was but one way or mode, in 
which this ordinance was to be administered, and that mode 
was explained to the apostles, and strictly adhered to in all 
their administrations. In order that we may obtain a pro- 
per notion of this subject, it will be necessary to refer to the 
circumstances under which baptism was administered. 

It says of John, that he baptized at iEnon, because there 
was much water ; then if sprinkling had been the mode, we 
can hardly suppose he would have gone to iEnon, because 
there was much water at that place, for a very little water, 
indeed, would have sprinkled all Judea, which he could 
have obtained, without having performed a journey to iEnon. 
We are told, also, that he baptized in Jordan, and that after 
the ordinance was administered to our Saviour, he came up 
out of the water expressly signifying, that he had been down 
into the water, in order that the ordinance might be admi- 
nistered in a proper manner. Again ; it speaks of the Eu- 
nuch, that he went down into the water with Philip, and then 
came up out of the water; now it must be acknowledged by 
every one, who makes any pretentions to reason and consist- 
ency, that had sprinkling a little water on the forehead an- 
swered the purpose, then those persons never would have 
gone into the water to have received the ordinance. Paul, in 
writing to the saints, gives us a plain testimony in favour 
of immersion, (2nd Col. 12th verse; also, 6th Romans, 4th 
verse) that apostle states there, that the saints had been buried 
with Christ by baptism. 

It is plainly evident, they could not have beeu buried by 
baptism, without having been entirely overwhelmed or covered 
in water. An object cannot be said to be buried, when any 
portion of it remains uncovered; so, also, a man is not 
buried in water, by baptism, unless his whole person is put 
into the watery element. This explanation of the apostle, 
upon the mode of baptism, very beautifully corresponds with 
that given by our Saviour, Except ye be born of water, &c. 


To he bom of a thing, signifies being placed in that thing; 
and emerging, or coming forth from it, to he born of water, 
must also signify being placed in the womb of waters, and 
being brought forth again. I trust sufficient has already been 
said, to convince every reasonable and unprejudiced mind, 
that immersion was the mode in which the ordinance of bap- 
tism was administered in the early days of Christianity, when 
the Gospel was proclaimed in its purity and fulness, therefore, 

1 will close my observations upon this point. 

We learn from the 6th of Hebrews, that the laying on of 
hands was enumerated among the principles of the Gospel. 
It is known by all, that this ordinance, as well as baptism for 
the remission of sins, by immersion, is quite neglected, at the 
present day, in the Christian churches ; a few remarks, there- 
fore, upon this subject, I hope." will prove profitable. We 
have several instances where Christ laid his hands upon the 
sick and healed them ; and in his commission to the apostles, 
last chapter of Mark, he says, These signs shall follow thein 
that believe ; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall 
recover, &c. Ananias laid his hands on Saul, who immedi- 
ately received his sight after this ordinance was administered. 
Paul, when shipwrecked upon the island of Melita, laid his 
hands upon the father of Publius, the governor of the island, 
and healed him of a fever. These few remarks, show cle>rly, 
that laying on of hands, has been appointed of God, to be a 
medium through which heavenly blessings may be obtained. 

Although the healing of the sick was connected with the 
administration of this ordinance, yet, when we peruse the 
subject farther, we shall discover that a still greater blessing 
was connected with this ordinance. We are told, in the city 
of Samaria, men and women had been baptized by Philip, 
which caused great rejoicing in them baptized. They proba- 
bly were rejoicing in consequence of having received remission 
of sins, through faith, repentance, and baptism, and of receiv- 
ing some portion of the Holy Spirit of God, which naturally 
followed them, after having obtained the answer of a good 
conscience by the remission of their sins. Through this 
portion of the Holy Spirit, which they came in possession 
of, they began to see the kingdom of God. For it will be 
recollected that our Saviour has declared, That no man can 
pee the kingdom of God, unless he is born again ; and in verse 
following;, he says, He cannot enter into it, except he is born 
twice; first of water, then of the Spirit. Now those people at 
Samaria, had been born of water — they had received the first 


Lirth, therefore, they were in a state of seeing the kingdom of 
God, of contemplating with the eye of faith its various bless- 
ings, privileges, and glories ; but as they had not been born 
the second time, that is, of the Spirit, they had not entered 
intonfthe kingdom of God — they had not entered into posses- 
sion of Gospel privileges in their fulness. When the apostles 
at Jerusalem, heard of the success of Philip, they sent Peter 
and John to Samaria, for the purpose of administering the 
laying on of hands. Accordingly, when they arrived at Sama- 
ria, they laid their hands upon those that had been baptized, 
and they received the Holy Ghost. Simon, the sorcerer, per- 
ceiving the Holy Ghost was given through the laying on of 
hands, offered the apostles money, if they would confer upon 
him the authority of administering that sacred ordinance ; bo 
it is plainly evident that those people in Samaria, were born of 
the Spirit — were introduced into the Gospel kingdgm — into 
possession of Gospel privileges — by means of laying on of 
hands. We will adduce another instance of the kind. It is 
found recorded, in Acts xix. Paul, we are told, there found 
twelve brethren at Ephesus, whom he laid his hand upon, 
and they received the Holy Ghost immediately, viz. through 
this ordinance they were born spiritually into the kingdom of 
God, for previous to this, they had seen the kingdom of God, 
having been born of water only. 

This then was the Gospel order in the days of the apostles, 
belief on Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, by immersion, for 
the remission of sins, and the laying on of hands for the re- 
ception of the Holy Ghost. When this order was understood, 
and properly attended to, power, gifts, blessings, and glorious 
privileges followed immediately ; and in every age and period, 
when these steps are properly attended and observed in their 
proper place and order, the same blessings are sure to. follow ; 
but when neglected, either wholly or in part, there will be 
either an entire absence of those blessings, or a great diminish- 
ment of them. Christ, in his commission to the apostles, 
speaks of some supernatural gifts, that those receive that 
yielded obedience to this order of things. — See Mark, last 
chapter. Paul, (,Cor. x.) gives a more full account of the 
various gifts that attended the fulness of the Gospel; .he men- 
tions nine of them, and informs us, that they are the eifeefs or ' 
fruits of the Holy Ghost. Now the Holy Ghost was promised 
unto all, even as many as the Lord should call. — See Acts ii. j 
'l his gift, being unchangeable in its nature and operations, i( j 
ana being inseparably connected by promise to this soh-e:ne or 


order of things, it becomes reasonable, consistent, and Scrip- 
tural to anticipate the same gifts and blessings; and if Noah, 
after having built the Ark, could claim and obtain his temporal 
salvation according to promise; or Joshua, having compassed 
Jericho the number of times mentioned, could go up upon her 
prostrated walls and make captive her inhabitants; or the 
Israelites, having offered up the sacrifices commanded, could 
then, as promised, receive their sins forgiven; or Naaman, 
after having complied with the injunction of Elisha, in wash- 
ing seven times in Jordan's waters, could demand and obtain 
his recovery; or lastly, the blind man, after having washed in 
the pool of Siloara, if he could then claim and realize the 
promised reward ; then, I say, with propriety and consistency, 
that whenever a man will lay aside his prejudice, and secta- 
rian notions, and false traditions, and conform to the whole 
order o£ the Gospel of Jesus Christ, then there is nothing 
beneath the celestial worlds, that will operate against claiming 
and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and all the blessings 
connected with the Gospel in the apostolic age. To obtain 
religion that will save us in the presence of God, we must 
obtain the Holy Ghost, and in order to obtain the Holy Ghost, 
we must believe on the Lord Jesus, then repent of our sins, 
that is, forsake them, then go forward and be immersed in 
water for the remission of sins, then receive the laying on of 
hands. But there is one thing which I have not noticed, but 
it is something of great importance. What I allude to, is that 
concerning the authority of administering the ordinances of 
baptism, and laying on of hands. Unless they are adminis- 
tered by one who is actually sent of God, the same blessings 
will not follow. The apostles and seventies were ordained by 
Jesus Christ to administer in the ordinances of the Gospel, 
through which, the gifts and blessings of the eternal worlds 
were to be enjoyed. Hence, Christ says to the apostles, 
Whosoever sins ye remit,' they shall be remitted : and whoso- 
ever sins ye retain, they shall be retained : that is, every man 
that would come in humility, sincerely repenting of his sins, 
and receive baptism from the apostles, should have his sins 
forgiven through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, and 
through the laying on of hands should receive the Holy 
Ghost; but those that would refuse receiving this order of 
things from the apostle i, would have their sins remain upon 
Ihem. In view of this, Paul says, we are a.iours of life unto 
Vfe, or of death unto death. He was a minister of life unto 
\ose who received the Gospel, which h ■ had authority to admi- 

•?\ <\ 


nister — but a minister of death to those refusing compliance. 
This power, and authority of administering the Gospel, was 
conferred upon others by the apostles; so that the apostles 
were not the only ones who held this responsible office. And 
every man, in every age, who holds the authority of adminis- 
tering the fulness of the Gospel, becomes, in this respect, like 
the apostles, viz. messengers of life unto life, or death unto 
death, according as his message shall be received or rejected. 
Now, until some one can be found that holds an office like 
this, some one having authority to baptize, and lay hands on, 
no one is under any obligation to receive those ordinances, 
nor need he expect the blessings, unless they have been ad- 
ministered legally. 

It is very evident, that the authority of administering in 
Gospel ordinances, has been lost for many centuries ; for no 
man can have this authority, except he receive it by direct 
revelation; either by the voice of God, as Moses did; or by 
the ministering of angels, as John the Baptist received his 
message ; or by the gift of prophecy, as Paul and Barnabas 
received. — Acts xiii. 2. Now, it is plain, that men have de- 
nied immediate revelation for many hundred years past; con- 
sequently have not received them, and therefore could not 
have been sent of God to administer in the fulness of the Gos- 
pel. God never sends a man on business, except he reveal 
himself to that man — never sends a man with a message, (in 
other words) unless he reveal that message to him in a direct 
manner. The church established by the apostles gradually 
fell away, wandered into the wilderness, and lost its authority, 
its priesthood, and departing from the order of God, it lost, 
also, its gifts and graces ; it tiansgressed the laws, and changed 
the ordinances of the Gospel ; changed immersion into sprink- 
ling, and quite neglected laying on of hands ; despised pro- 
phecy and disbelieved in signs following. — Rev. xii. 6. Isaiah 
xxiv. 5. In consequence of this, the Gentiles have been cut 
off from the fulness of Gospel privileges, as Paul said to them 
in Rom. xi. 22. " If you continue not in the goodness of 
God, you also shall be cut off" 

John, in his Revelations, having seen and spoken of the 
wandering of the church into darkness, and the beast, the 
Gentiles making war against the saints and overcoming them, 
(xiii. 7.) speaks in xiv. chap. 6th v. of the restoration of the 
Gospel. " I saw another angel flying in the midst of heaven, 
having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell 
on the earth;" so it is evidentthat prophecy was to be fulfilled 
at some time previous to our Saviour's second advent. 


That those, into whose hands this Tract may fall, shall be 
without excuse in the great and coming day of the Lord, I now 
bear testimony, having the highest assurance by revelation 
from God, that this prophecy has already been fulfilled, that 
ah Jlngel from God has visited man in these last days, anil 
restored that which has long been lost, even the priesthood, — 
the keys of the kingdom, — the fulness of the everlasting Gos- 
pel — and commanded men to cry, " Behold, the Bridegroom 
cometh, go you out to meet him;" to call upon the wise vir- 
gins (Mat. xxv. 6.) to arise from their slumber, be baptized 
for the remission of sins, that they may receive the gift of the 
Holy Ghost, and thereby •' trim up their lamps," and thus 
be prepared to stand when the Bridegroom shall appear, for 
says Malachi iii. 2. ".Who may abide the day of his coming? 
Who shall stand when he appeareth ? for He is like refiner's 
fire, and like fullers soap." — Answer, Those that now re- 
pent of their sins and receive the message God is sending, 
those that will forsake their false traditions, and come out 
from under the blighting and benighting influence of a hire- 
ling priesthood whom God has not sent, and with whom he b* 
wat well pleased. I say, and now bear testimony, in the 
name of Jesus Christ, that the Lord, God of Abraham. Isaac, 
and Jacob, has sent me to say unto you, " Come out of her, 
O ye people of God, ye wise virgins, or else you must jocrr- 
take of her iniquities, and you must receive of her plagues. 
(Rev. xviii. 4.) I say, in the name of Jesus Christ, the Holy 
Ghost having borne witness, that the anger of God is kindled 
against the abominations, hypocrisy, and wickedness of the 
religious world, and from the heavens has he uttered his 
voice in anger against those who " divine for money and 
teach for hire ;" and, unless they speedily repent, be baptized 
for the re"mission of their sins, receiving the message the 
Almighty is now sending unto all people, they will be des- 
troyed by the brightness of the coming of the Son of man, 
which is now at hand — even at your doors — ye inhabitants 
of the earth!!! 

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